Restoring a Home: A Step-By-Step Guide to Rehabbing Your Property

Restoring a home is a rewarding and exciting process, but it can also be overwhelming. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about the process, and it often takes much more time and energy than most people expect. This article provides a step-by-step guide to rehabbing your property to restore your home successfully. After reading this article, you should better understand the tasks involved in restoring a home and tips on saving money throughout the process.

What Is a home rehab?

Home rehab is repairing and upgrading a property to make it more livable and valuable. Home rehab may involve anything from minor home repairs to major renovations, such as adding new rooms, extending or updating existing rooms, and replacing appliances or fixtures. Home rehabs can be done for profit or to improve the quality of life in a home.

How to rehab a home on a budget

The following are the steps you will need to rehab a home on a budget:

Secure the property

Depending on the property you are rehabbing, local authorities may require you to secure the property to protect yourself from liability issues. This may include posting “No Trespassing” signs, installing locks on all the doors, and boarding up any windows or openings. Your local police department may be able to provide assistance and guidance.

Create a home remodel game plan

Before beginning any work, creating a game plan with a budget and timeline is essential. A good plan will cost out each step of your project in detail, giving you an overall picture of how much money, time, and resources will be required.

Decide on Yes, Nos, and Maybes

Start by prioritizing items that must be done immediately and list tasks that can wait for later. For example, a working HVAC system might be a yes, while a brand-new kitchen might be a no.

Remove debris

Before beginning any remodeling project, removing debris from the area is essential. This includes furniture, garbage, old appliances, carpets, and anything else that might be lying around the house. Check for any hazardous materials and structural damage that could cause problems.

Start the interior

Begin by assessing the needs of each room individually and deciding which rooms are most important to address first. If necessary, consult an expert in remodeling to get advice on what should and shouldn’t be done in each room. 

Begin repair work

Once you’ve assessed the needs of each room and determined which projects are most important, begin repair work. This might include anything from patching holes in walls to fixing or replacing plumbing fixtures or electrical wiring. If you cannot do the repairs yourself, consider hiring someone who can do it for you at an affordable price. 


Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give a home a face-lift. Start with the largest area first, then move on to smaller rooms and hallways as needed. Use high-quality paint, brushes, and materials for the best results and protection from wear and tear. 

Replace or repair flooring

Depending on your budget and desired outcome, you can either replace or repair existing flooring in your home. For simple fixes, such as filling in cracks or scratches, you can use floor wax or patching compounds for a smoother finish at an affordable cost. For larger projects like replacing entire sections of flooring or carpeting, consider hiring professionals for installation at an additional cost. 

Tackle exterior needs

Lastly, addressing the exterior of your home needing remodeling attention is essential. This may include power washing surfaces, repainting fences, or replacing siding or roofing materials if required. You can also spruce up the exterior by adding flower beds or new landscaping elements, such as decorative rocks or shrubs, for a more polished look at a minimal cost.

How does a rehab differ from a fixer-upper?

A rehab is a real estate investment where the investor buys an existing property that needs repair and renovation to increase its market value. This can involve anything from updating fixtures and appliances to more structural repairs. A fixer-upper is also usually a property with considerable wear and tear, but the repairs needed can be completed with less time and money than a full-on rehab. It is also possible to live in a fixer-upper, whereas rehab often requires the investor to move out of the property during the renovations fully.

Who should buy a rehab home?

A rehab home is best suited for those with a passion for renovating and the skills, knowledge, and resources to do so. This type of home is often a good choice for those looking for an investment opportunity or wanting to create their dream home. However, it is essential to understand all the potential costs associated with such a project before buying a rehab home.

Why house rehabs matter to investors

Here are the reasons why house rehab matters to investors:

  • House rehabs matter to investors because they can increase the value of a property and improve its overall condition. Rehabs can help investors make money by allowing them to resell the property for a higher price after completing the rehab. 
  • Rehabs also allow investors to rent out their properties for more money and can even attract higher-quality tenants. They also help make properties more visually appealing, enticing potential buyers and tenants while reducing costly maintenance bills in the long run. 
  • Finally, rehabs can help investors protect their investments, as many buyers are looking for move-in-ready homes with updated materials, finishes, and features. Investors can ensure their investments maintain a high market value by completing a house rehab.

How long does it take to rehab a home?

The time it takes to rehab a home can depend on several factors, such as the size and condition of the home, the amount of work being done, and the availability of materials. Generally speaking, it could take several weeks to six months to complete a full home rehab. The faster end of this range could be achieved if the renovations are minor and the team working on the project is experienced and efficient. If the rehab is more extensive and requires more time, attention, and resources, it could take up to six months or longer. For example, major structural changes such as adding a new room or replacing a roof may require additional permits and paperwork that could add weeks or even months to a project. When planning a home rehab project, it's essential to account for potential delays, as these can significantly extend the timeline.

What is the 70% rule?

The 70% rule is a rule of thumb used by real estate investors to estimate a property's after-repair value (ARV). ARV is the estimated market value of a property after it has been renovated and repaired. The 70% rule states that an investor can estimate the ARV of a property by taking the cost of necessary repairs and multiplying it by 0.7. A common variation of this rule is to add the cost of repairs to 70% of the ARV; this variation is sometimes referred to as the 70% rule plus repair costs.


Restoring a home can seem daunting, but you can complete the project with the right approach. All it takes is a bit of research and planning, figuring out your budget and how much work needs to be done, gathering the necessary materials and labor, and finally, taking your time and paying attention to detail. Following these steps, you can transform your home into a beautiful, functional property that will last for years. Contact for more information.


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